A healthy holiday… is that even possible? Well, kind of.
The reality is holidays are days off. They are days to relax, to celebrate, and to connect with family and friends. And they usually involve food. Lots of delicious food and hours and hours to graze.
My typical holiday plan: don’t fight it. In general, I advocate for the “Eat Drink and Be Merry” approach to holidays because they don’t come around all that often, and what’s life without a day off enjoying lawn games and Nora’s famous Red, White and Blue Sangria now and then?
HOWEVER… there a few things I want to note based on the questions I’ve been getting lately.
1. How do you handle it in a season like summer where it feels like there is a party, wedding, a BBQ, after work drinks etc. every night?
- Have a plan. This is particularly important with alcohol, as we all know it affects our judgment. Going in with a max number of drinks set in your mind can help you stick to moderation more easily Vs a vague notion of not wanting to drink too much, which can quickly fly out the window once an event gets going. This also works for specific events: 4th of July, relax and enjoy; random Sunday night BBQ, have a plan to eat as well as you can.
- Eat veggies. Vegetables are not only nutritious, they are filling. Hammer the veggie platter before the big event and you will have less room for the chips. Healthy fats can help with this too.
- Chew mint gum. It signals the end of eating and mint can curb your appetite. This probably won’t work if you’ve been overly restrictive with yourself, but if you’ve enjoyed a nice meal and feel satiated, chewing some gum can keep your hand from absentmindedly going to town on the gummy bear bowl.
2. How do you get back on track after a holiday or a vacation?
- At the risk of sounding redundant.. Have a plan. It’s seriously that important. Set aside time the Sunday or Monday night after a big weekend. Whilst you're on the flight home from vacay, plot out your meals for the week and when you’re going to shop. Make yourself a big pot of something healthy and freeze it in lunch size portions before you leave. The easier you make it on yourself to get back into the groove of eating well, the more likely you’ll actually do it.
- Tune in. If your holiday or vacay came on the heels of weeks or months of restrictive dieting, telling yourself to get right back to it just isn’t going to work. You’re out from the icy lake, and its only natural you don’t want to jump back in. Instead of trying to force yourself to eat perfectly, have healthy food readily available and then turn inwards if you find yourself eating crap. More than likely there is an emotional component at the root, and if you don’t tune in, you are missing your chance to actually heal what’s going on and put it behind you for good. (I know this bit is scary, that’s why it’s so nice to have a coach to walk you through it. If you are struggling with your relationship to food, click here to book a complimentary call with me).